Skoda to Conquer Australian Car Market

In the news: Skoda, Volkswagen subsidiary and recipient of VW exhaust part will once again try its luck in the Australian market after 25 years. Volkswagen plans to introduce its Skoda brand in Australia this coming October. Matthew Weisner, Volkswagen Group of Australia general manager, press and public relations have been appointed as head of Skoda Australia and his duty includes the re-launch of the Skoda brand. Although a bit reluctant Weisner said that he will do his best to promote Skoda to the Australian market.

Skoda’s lineup for Australia includes the following:

o Fabia – this Volkswagen Polo-sized light car derived its styling cues from the Mini Cooper and Suzuki Swift. The Fabia was launched last year at the Paris Motor Show. It offers economical, three-cylinder, HTP short for High Tech Performance petrol and TDI engines. It also offers 16-valve, 63kW, 1.4 liter and 77kW, 1.6 liter petrol models. The 1.6 liter petrol engine is offered with a six-speed tiptronic automatic. Both the 1.4 and 1.6 petrol units are to be brought to Australia.

The Fabia has a length measuring at 3992 mm long and with a wheelbase of 2462 mm. Comparing it to the Polo, the Fabia is approximately 76 mm longer overall and 3mm longer on the wheelbase. It also possesses 300 liters of luggage space. The Fabia that will be sold in Australia will also feature six airbags, climate control airconditioning and active headlights. The Fabia will be priced at $16,000.

o Octavia – the Octavia bears similar features with the VW Passat and just like the latter, the Octaivia is a mid-size offered either as a front-wheel-drive sedan and wagon. It will also be made to compete with the premium priced Japanese models with the likes of Honda Accord Euro, Mazda6, Subaru Liberty, and soon-to-be Ford Mondeo.

The Octavia is powered by a range of petrol and turbo-diesel engines ranging from 110kW, 2 liter FSI up to a 125kW, 2liter TDI and 147kW, 2 litre FSI four cylinder in the RS. Likewise, a 1.4 liter model will also be made available for Australia along with the five and six-speed manual transmissions with the addition of a six-speed VW-sourced DSG manual. The price of the Octavia is about $30,000.

o Superb – this is an essentially long-wheelbase version of the Octavia designed for the higher end of the market. The Superb is spacious offering extra legroom in the back and plenty of leather and luxury. The Superb is equipped with the Passat’s older 142kW, 2.8 liter V6 petrol and 120 kW, 2.5 liter six cylinder TDI engines which are both available with a tiptronic five-speed automatic.

This long-wheelbase sedan is available in Europe with a 110kW, turbocharged 1.8 liter and naturally aspirated 85 kW, 2 liter four cylinder engine. The price for the Superb is about $45,000.

o Roomster – this vehicle started as a funky concept car at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show while a production version was unveiled last year. The Roomster is distinguished by its high-set, van like styling. Its versatile, five-door concept is similar to the VW Caddy that is quickly converted from a five-seater into a load-lugging two-seater vehicle.

The Roomster Scout adds plastic-cladding around the body which provides it with an off-road look despite the fact that it is a front-wheel drive vehicle. The price of the Roomster is about $27,000.

In addition, Volkswagen also plans to introduce in Australia next year the VW Polo-sized Fabia. This Fabia was previously presented at the Geneva Motor Show. Likewise, by 2009 Volkswagen will launch a new generation version of its long-wheelbase Surperb sedan.

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